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“We are freaking out like retail is going away,” exclaimed Clark Briner, founder and president at Revere Capital, on the Capital Markets Update: What’s In Store for 2018 panel at RealShare Southern California. While there are a lot of headline about the failure of retail, Briner pointed out that the ratio is 90 to 10, and our brick and mortar presence isn’t going anywhere. The panel included speakers Michael Klein, co-Founder and CEO at Freedom Financial Funds; Bryan Shaffer, principal and managing director at George Smith Partners; and Zach Murphy, co-founder and managing director at Pender Capital, with moderator Marc Renard, managing director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield.

While it may be true that retail isn’t in as much trouble as the industry narrative suggests, Renard said that most of it is commodity retail, and it does warrant caution. He specifically said that B- and C-class malls are a tremendous concern from a capital markets and investment perspective. He wasn’t alone. Murphy said that in New York City—which tends to run ahead of economic shifts in other major markets—retail is in bad shape. “Retail in New York is a disaster. The vacancy is unbelievable,” he said on the panel, adding that there are vacancies everywhere and rates are falling as a result.

Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Borland is a freelance writer and editor living whose work has appeared in such publications as Travel + Leisure, Angeleno and Riviera Orange County.

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